Australia recognizes Serum Institute’s Covishield for international arrivals

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NEW DELHI: Australia acknowledged on Friday that the Serum Institute of India manufactured the Covishield covid-19 vaccine, allowing overseas travelers who received the vaccine to enter the country.

Australia’s drug regulator Therapeutic Goods Administration said following an initial assessment of protection data from Chinese companies Coronavac (Sinovac) and Covishield, developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca and manufactured by Serum Institute of India licensed, it was decided that these would be considered “recognized vaccines” for the purpose of determining incoming international travelers as being properly vaccinated.

Development is important for a large number of Indian students wishing to travel to Australia for their studies. The announcement, however, did not specify when Australia will open its doors to international travel.

“Australia is ready to take its next steps to reopen safely to the world, with upcoming changes to the international border. Our government is setting the framework for the appearance of international travel in the coming months,” said a press release from the Australia office. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, adding that many countries have now safely reopened to international travel and it will soon be time for Australia to take the next step.

Testing will continue to be a requirement for international travel, but subject to medical advice, rapid antigen testing can be used, he said. Australia has already approved vaccines from Pfizer (Comirnaty), AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Moderna (Spikevax) and Janssen.

Italy last week recognized Covishield paving the way for Indian vaccination card holders to travel to the European country.

The UK updated its travel advisory last week to accepting Covishield as an ‘approved vaccine’, but said Indian travelers should still undergo a mandatory quarantine upon arrival, sparking controversy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, speaking at the Covid-19 World Summit held virtually last week, raised the issue of mutual recognition of vaccine certificates between countries after the UK decision. “We also need to focus on tackling the economic effects of the pandemic. To this end, international travel should be facilitated through the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates, “the Prime Minister said.

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